MILWAUKEE — Gov. Tony Evers today at ceremony celebrating the completion of the new Mental Health Emergency Center announced $5.7 million in funding for the new center in Milwaukee. To support the Mental Health Emergency Center, Gov. Evers, together with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), has committed to providing $5.7 million in overall funding, $4.5 million of which will come from Wisconsin’s Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds allocated under the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The remainder of the funding will come from carryover funding from the federal mental health block grant through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
“We are committed to ensuring that Wisconsin workers, families, and communities are not only bouncing back from this pandemic financially, but that we are addressing the increased need for mental and behavioral healthcare and building healthy communities well into the future,” said Gov. Evers. “This facility will play a critical role in strengthening our mental healthcare infrastructure by expanding access to treatment and providing a wide range of options for people experiencing mental health crises to get the care they need.”
The center is a joint venture between Milwaukee County and the county’s four health systems: Advocate Aurora Health, Ascension Wisconsin, Children’s Wisconsin, and Froedtert Health. With its opening planned for 2022, the Mental Health Emergency Center will serve adults, adolescents, and children by providing around-the-clock crisis services, as well as opportunities to further inpatient, residential, outpatient, and peer support services, while also serving as an economic driver in the community. The center will serve as a training center for psychiatric medical residents and provide job opportunities both during construction and after opening.
This announcement is part of the Evers Administration’s larger framework for improving Wisconsin’s mental health and substance use services. Under the governor’s leadership, DHS will invest more than $16 million in ARPA funds over the next four years to improve statewide services for emergency mental healthcare, including funding allocated to counties and tribal nations to address the unique needs of their communities.
“The steps being taken by Milwaukee County and other partners to develop and launch this new mental health care facility represent one piece of a much larger puzzle,” said Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake. “By further investing in our mental health crisis system, we can work towards our goal of a system that can serve everyone in need, at any time, and in every corner of our state.”
To learn more about how DHS proposes to use ARPA funding to support mental health crisis services statewide, visit the American Rescue Plan Act: Proposed Funding for Mental Health and Substance Use Services webpage.